Mood “cautiously optimistic” at The Jewellery Show
BIRMINGHAM, England, February 7, 2013 – The mood was “cautiously optimistic” at The Jewellery Show, and exhibitors, from manufacturers to designers, reported strong enquiries and orders.
Event Director Julie Driscoll said business was brisk at this year’s show which hosted more than 400 exhibitors featuring almost 800 jewellery brands and watches.
The Jewellery Show 2013 was up 14 percent year-on-year in terms of customer numbers, she said.
“Everyone has made a phenomenal effort at creating the best possible environment to get the retailers in the mood for buying,” Driscoll told Jewellery Outlook in an interview at The Jewellery Show.
“The mood is cautiously optimistic. Exhibitors are innovating. People are using the high metals prices to do new things with design.”
Filigree was a growing design theme, permitting designers to showcase lighter pieces in precious materials.
Designers such as Arabel Lebrusan used filigree in silver designs, facilitating more accessible price points.
Some brands were moving upmarket to seek higher returns.
“Some people have decided to go into the more luxury end of the market and are doing much higher price points because luxury in the UK is working really well,” Driscoll said.
Birmingham-based Domino Jewellery reported strong results from the show.
Domino’s sales and marketing chief Andrew Sollitt spoke of strong orders from both new and existing customers.
Domino will now shift its focus to its stand at BASELWORLD in April.
Executives from Solitaire Gemmological Laboratories (SGL), which certifies diamonds, reported strong enquiries at The Jewellery Show from potential new customers.
White Pine Trading distributed a brochure at the event promoting its diamond recycling services.
White Pine buys diamond-set jewellery in addition to loose stones.
The brochure from White Pine was entitled “How to generate the maximum returns from your recycled diamonds.”
Recycled diamonds are diamonds that have been polished and set into jewellery, then removed, sorted and re-cut for sale back into the diamond industry.
This sector now generates sizeable revenue for suppliers and buyers alike.
Designer Rachel Galley reported strong enquiries.
“We’ve had lots of enquiries about the new pieces that we’ve done,” Galley said.
“There have been lots of new enquiries, as well as enquiries from current customers as well.”
Among Galley’s latest lines were her pieces inspired by butterflies and love hearts in sterling silver, which attracted strong interest at The Jewellery Show.
Three of Galley’s pieces will go on tour to Houlden Group independent retailers, Galley said.
“This is a fantastic window for Houlden’s customers and staff,” she said.
“It’s a fantastic opportunity to show the Houlden members what we can do.”
A central feature of The Jewellery Show was the Catwalk Cafe.
Catwalk shows ran three times a day, showcasing future trends to inspire retail buying.
The Catwalk Cafe hosted seminars, such as one on February 6 focused on ethical standards in the jewellery industry.
At the seminar Simon Rainer, who leads the Birmingham-based British Jewellers’ Association (BJA), said the UK industry should drive forward initiatives to promote high ethical standards across the world.
Gary Wroe, Managing Director at manufacturer Hockley Mint, said the industry needed to be one step ahead of the consumer to ensure the highest ethical standards were met.
Alan Frampton, a director of Cred Jewellery, which has pioneered sales of Fairtrade and Fairmined gold jewellery, spoke passionately about the difficulties faced by artisanal miners who have not benefited from soaring gold prices, and about the importance of traceability from mine to finger.